Hydrochoerus hydrochaeris

Body Length:39"–51"
Weight: 10–35 lbs
Geographic Distribution:South America
Habitat:Near rivers, streams, and marshes
Wild Diet:Grasses, fruits, woody plants, and fallen leaves
Status in the Wild:Least Concern

The capybara is the largest living rodent, with coarse rufous fur on its back and legs turning into a brownish-yellow on its abdomen. The stocky rodent has a rounded body, short face, and no tail. The capybara is native to South America. Well adapted to life near water, the semi-aquatic mammals have partially webbed feet, making capybaras very strong swimmers capable of staying underwater for up to five minutes, which helps when escaping predators such as jaguars, anacondas, and harpy eagles.

Because the capybara is an agile swimmer, the Catholic church deemed them a fish in the 1500s, making their meat consumable during Lent.